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 East Azarbayjan today

 
The most outstanding features from a cultural point of view are the language, Azari/Azarice, and folklore of this region. According to Dehkhoda Dictionary, the language of Azarbayjan is originally "a branch of the Iranian languages known as Azari") see Ancient Azari language) .However the modern Azari language is a Turkic language very closely related to the language of West Azarbayjan and Turkey. Apart from this, the province also boasts numerous learned scholars, gnostics, several national poets such as Mowlana Baba Mazeed, Khajeh Abdol Raheem Aj Abadi, Sheikh Hassan Bolqari, and Abdolqader Nakhjavani, to name a few, and the contemporary poet Ostad Mohammad Hossein Shahriyar. The current leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, also originally comes from this region.
Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has registered 936 sites of historical significance in the province. Some are contemporary, and some are from the antiquity of ancient Persia. "Zahak Citadel", for example, is the name of an ancient ruin in East Azarbayjan, which according to various experts, was inhabited from the second millennium BC until the Timurid era. First excavated in the 1800s by British archeologists, Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization has been studying the structure in 6 phases.
East Azarbayjan hails from a rich compendium of Azari traditions. Many local dances and folk songs continue to survive among the various peoples of the province. As a longstanding province of Iran, Azarbayjan is mentioned favorably on many occasions in Persian literature by Iran's greatest authors and poets.
East Azarbayjan province is an industrial centre of Iran. East Azarbayjan province has over 5000 manufacturing units, of which at least 800 are industrial (6% percent of national total). The value of product from these units in 1997 totalled US$374 million )373 billion rials = 4.07% of the national total). Total investments were valued at US$2.7 billion )2.4513 trillion rials) in 1997.
Some of the major industries include Azarr glass industries, Maraqeh paper manufacturing, Ahar Sungun copper and nepheline syenite, the Tabriz Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, Tabriz Tractor Manufacturing Co., Azarbayjan steel, foundry and auto-part manufacturing, food industries, leather and shoe industries, and the Tabriz Machine Manufacturing Co.
Tabriz also has an excellent position in the handicraft industry of Iran, having a large share in the exports of the province. Tabriz carpets are widely known around the world and in international markets for their vibrant designs and colors. Without exaggeration, Iranian rugs owe their fame to the creative minds of the designers and the deft hands of the carpet weavers of East Azarbayjan.
At present there are about 66,000 carpet production units in the province, employing some 200,000 people. The annual production of these carpets is roughly 792,000 m², which comprises more than 70% of Iran's carpet exports. 35% of all Iranian carpets are produced in East Azarbayjan.
East Azarbayjan province is also one of the richest regions of Iran in natural minerals, with 180 mines in 1997, of which 121 units are currently in operation, and the rest are being planned.
UNESCO has two Biosphere reserves in East Azarbayjan province. One is considered in Lake Urmia and the other at Arasbaran.
Today, the predominant language spoken in Tabriz is Azarbayjani Turkic, which belongs to the Turkic languages family. Azari is a member of Oghuz branch of Turkic language, and it is closely related to Turkish and Turkmeni. The modern Azari language is evolved from the Eastern Oghuz dialect of Western (Oghuz) Turkic, which spread to Southwestern Asia during medieval Turkic migrations and was heavily influenced by Persian and Arabic.
The majority of people are followers of Shia Islam. Some Armenians and Assyrians live in Tabriz and have their own churches and organizations. There used to be a small Jewish community, but most of them have moved to Tehran
The music and folk songs of Tabriz are popular, and traditions have a long history. The prominent Iranian Azari poet Mohammad-Hossein Shahriar was born in Tabriz. The handicrafts in the Bazaar of Tabriz, and in particular the Tabriz rug, are famous worldwide. The culture, social values, language and the music is a mixture of what exists in rest of Iran.
The professional music of Azari people are divided into two "distinct types", the music of "ashyg" and the "mugam". Mugam "is not common" among Iranian Azaris, who "prefer the School of Tabriz".
On the other hand, the music of the ashyg is found in most places in northwestern Iran and particularly in Tabriz, Maraghe, Khoy, and Orumïye (Rezaye).
Ashighs are traveling bards, who sing and play the saz or qopuz, a form of lute. Their songs are partly improvised around a common base
One of the Iranian painting styles is called "Tabrizian style" which has been shaped in the era of Ilkhanids, Kara Koyunlu and the Safavids
Azarbayjanis and specially people from Tabriz are famous for their special delicious cuisine in Iran. There are bunch of famous restaurants in Tabriz which are well known in Iran which are serving different kind of Iranian foods. Behind these big restaurants there are a lot of small magazines which are serving different kind of fast food to various kind of Kebab. However best taste of traditional food is prepared and served in family houses. Here is a list of traditional Tabriz cuisines:
Ash is a kind of soup which is prepared with bouillon, various vegetables, carrot, noodle and spices.
Chelow Kebab - is the national dish of Iran, prepared with Kebab and roasted tomatoes (and roasted hot peppers occasionally) on a plate of steamed rice. Tabriz is famous for its Chelow Kebab in Iran.
Dolma is a traditional delicious Turkic food. It is prepared with eggplant, capsicum, tomato or zucchini filled with a mixture of meat, split pea, onion and various spices.
Garniyarikh (Lit."the torn abdomen" in Azari) is a kind of Dolma filled with meat, garlic, almonds and spices.
Kofta (Koufteh) Tabrizi is a special recipe Tabriz and looks like big meatballs which prepared with mixture of grand meat, rice, leek and some other additives. The word kofta is derived from Persian k?fta: In Persian, kuftan means "to beat" or "to grind".
There are also delicious confections, biscuits and cookies, some of which are Tabriz specialties including Ghorabiye, Eris, Nugha, Tasbihi, Latifeh, Ahari, Lovadieh, Lokum and etc.

Main sights

Tabriz was devastated by several earthquakes during history (e.g., in 858, 1041, and 1721) and as a result, from numerous monuments only few of them or parts of them have survived until now. Moreover, some of the historical monuments have been destroyed fully or partially within construction projects (e.g. Ark of Tabriz is in a real hazard of destruction now, because of ongoing construction project of "Mosal'laye Emam" close to it). Nonetheless, there are still numerous monuments remaining until now, which are lised as follows:

  • Grand Bazaar of Tabriz, a world heritage site.
  • Mosques of Goy Majid, Jamee and Saheb ol Amr
  • Gate of Baghmasha
  • Daneshsara (faculty of education)
  • Ghadaki house
  • Mashrouteh museum
  • Haidarzadeh house
  • Boulourchian house
  • Amir Nezam House
  • Municipality of Tabriz
  • Tabriz Fire Fighting Tower
  • Tabriz Railway Station
  • Streets of Ferdowsi, Imam and Tarbiyat
  • Bohtouni museum
  • Nature museum
  • Post museum
  • Shahryar literature museum
  • Aji, Ghari, Mansoor and Pol Sanghi (Stone) bridges.
  • Churches of Adonist, Assyrian and Saint Mary
  • Bathes of Nobar and old Turkish
  • Monument Ark of Tabriz
  • Iron Age museum
  • Azarbayjan Museum
  • Sorkheh-i house
  • House of Seghat ol Islam
  • Hariree house
  • Behnam House
  • Tabriz Art University (former Charmsazi Khosravi)
  • Constitutional Revolution House of Tabriz
  • Sharbatoglu house
  • Measure museum
  • Muharram museum
  • Pottery museum
  • Rug museum

Parks and Gardens

Tabriz has 132 parks, including 97 small parks, 31 regional and 4 city parks. According to 2005 statistics, area of parks in Tabriz is 2,595 km2 also area of green spaces of Tabriz is 8,548 km2, which means 5.6 sq.m per person. The oldest park in Tabriz, called Golestan Park, was established at first Pahlavi's era in city center. Tabriz has 8 traveller-parks with capacity of 10.000 travellers, as well.

Industries and Businesses

It is claimed that Tabriz is the 2nd industrial city of Iran. Modern industries in this city include the manufacturing of machinary, vehicles, chemicals and petrochemical materials, refinery, cement, electrical and electronical equipment, home appliances, textiles and leather, nutrition and dairy factories and woodcraft.
There are numerous industrial complexes in Tabriz industrial area. Iranian Tractor Manufacturing Co (ITMCO) is one of the biggest industrial complexes in the region. This complex has the highest foundry and forging capacity in middle east, the biggest manufacturer of tractor in Iran, which has some domestic & abroad branches too. Although initially the complex was established with the aim of producing tractor and agricultural machines as a starting point for modernization of traditional Iranian agricultural system, nowadays its products include a large variety from auto parts to machine tools and some domestic van and trucks. Behind ITMCO there are several other industrial complexes including Machine Sazi Tabriz Co, Iran Diesel Engine Manufacturing Co (IDEM), Pump Iran, Tabriz Petrochemical Complex, Tabriz Oil Refinery and couple of industrial regions which are including hundreds of small industries.
Tabriz is the major center for production of the famous Iranian Rugs. Their high quality is greatly valued in world markets. Tabrizi rugs and carpets usually have ivory backgrounds with blue, rose, and indigo motifs. They often have very symmetrical and balanced designs. They usually have a single medallion that is surrounded with vines and palmettos. One of the main quality characteristics of Tabriz rugs is the weaving style, using special ties that guarantee the durability of the rug in comparison for example with Kashan rugs.

Shopping

Shopping centers are mostly located in city center, including Grand Bazaar of Tabriz, pedestrian malls on Tarbiyat Street, Shahnaz Street and Ferdowsi Street. Also, there are some malls and a lot of elegant & luxurious boutiques of jewelry, rugs, clothes, handcrafts, confectionary and nuts, home appliances and so on in Abressan intersection, Roshdiyeh district and Kouy Valiasr.
The special feature of Tabriz malls is that most of them are designated to a particular order, such as home appliances, jewelry, shoes, clothes, wedding ceremonies, ladies/babies/men specialties, leather products, handcrafts, agricultural products, computers, electronic components, industrial equipment, piping equipment, chemical materials, agricultural machines, stationery, books, rugs, construction stuff and others.
Likewise, there are seasonal/occasional shopping fairs opened mainly in Tabriz International Exhibition Center too.
Tabriz International Exhibition Complex which is located in eastern part of the city holds tens of exhibitions based on yearly schedule. The most famous fair is TEXPO [31] which is a general trade fair and established on 1992 and normally holds on August 4–9 every year.
Major academic centers of Tabriz include:

Academic Centers

Tabriz is the site for 14 of Iran's most prominent universities, the main university of the city is University of Tabriz established in 1947. University of Tabriz is the most prestigious university in north-western Iran and it is considered one of five mother universities in the country. There are couple of other public universities, operating primarily in the city: Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Sahand University of Technology, Tabriz Arts University, Payam-e Noor University of Tabriz, and Azarbayjan University of Tarbiat Moallem.
Beside public universities few private universities are serving student in the city including: Islamic Azad University of Tabriz, Daneshvaran Higher Education Institute, Seraj Higher Education Institute, University College of Nabi Akram, Khajeh Rashid university.
There are few technical colleges, which serve the students as well: Elmi-Karbordi University of Tabriz, Tabriz College of Technology, Roshdiyeh Higher Education Institute of Tabriz, Jahad Daneshgahi (ACECR) Higher Education Institute, East Azarbayjan Branch, Azzahra College of Technology, State Organization of Technical and Vocational Training
There are a couple of research centers supported by Iranian government in the city including: East Azarbayjan Park of Science & Technology, Islamic Azad University - Science and Research branch of East Azarbayjan.
Furthermore, a couple of Iranian universities have branches in Tabriz, including: Imam Hossein University, Shahid Beheshti Training Teacher Center of Tabriz
Valiasr Religious School and Talebieh Islamic Science School are two major religious schools in the city which are used for teaching Islamic Science.
Tabriz National Library, also known as Central Library of Tabriz, is the most prestigious library in Tabriz, and its numerous unique handwriting old books made it a vulnerable source for researchers in Iranian literature. There are other libraries behind National library which are serving to public some of which are: Tarbiat library, library of Helal Ahmar, library of Shahid Motahhari, library of Shahriyar, library of Jafarieh and Farhangsara of Tabriz.

Infrastructures

The government of Iran operates the public hospitals in the Tabriz metropolitan region, some of which are aligned with medical faculties. There are also a number of private hospitals and medical centers in the city.
Sport is an important part of Tabriz's culture. The most popular sport in Tabriz is soccer. Tabriz is home to four Iranian major Football teams: Tractor Sazi F.C., Machine Sazi Tabriz F.C., Shahrdari Tabriz F.C., Petrochimi Tabriz F.C.
Tabriz also has two stadiums for Football: Bagh Shomal Stadium, with capacity of 20,000 and Yadegar-e-Emam Stadium with 71,000.
Tractor Sazi F.C. or Tiraktorsazi, as it called in the city, is an Iranian soccer club, based in Tabriz. They are playing in Iran's Pro League. The team was sponsored by Iran Tractor Manufacturing Co. (ITMCO). The club used to have a significant presence in the old Azadegan League (current IPL), but has been playing in Iran's second-highest league since relegation in the 2001-02 season. They also provided Iran with some of the most talented players during the nineties. In 2009, Traktorsazi, the well-known team of Azarbayjan province, improved to the first class league of Iran and has got the most enthusiased fans in Iran's league, according to surveys.
Behind soccer they are few other sport events holds in Tabriz. The major one is Azarbayjan Cycling Tour. Azarbayjan Cycling Tour is a professional cycling tour held annually in part of Iranian Azarbayjan and Republic of Azarbayjan. Tabriz also has an UCI Continental cycling team that is competing in UCI-sanctioned competitions through Asian continents. The team is: Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team
The city has several swimming pools that are parts of sport complexes, both public and private: Takhti swimming pool, Tabriz Petrochemical Company's sports complex, Bargh swimming pool, Sahand swimming pool, Bagh Shomal swimming pool, Kargaran sports complex, Hotel Elgoli swimming pool, Hotel Shahryar swimming pool, Azarsatrup sports complex, Sauna Tabriz, Azaran sauna & pool, Zamzam swimming pool, Aseman residential complex swimming pool.

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Also, the countries of Azarbayjan and Turkey represent consulate in Tabriz.

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